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New register to boost transparency on business turnaround times

A new register has been launched to help address the time it takes big businesses to pay SME suppliers.

Business Reporter 02 December 2021
— 1 minute read

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson said the launch of the Payment Times Reports Register, released this week, will provide transparency around big business payment times. The new online Payment Times Reports Register publishes information about the payment policies of businesses with a turnover of more than $100 million.


“We welcome the Payment Times Reports Register, which reveals the payment policies of more than 6,000 businesses,” Mr Billson said.

“It’s an important first step in addressing late payments, which continues to be a huge issue for small businesses.

“While it’s still early days, the register reveals that more than 30 per cent of invoices are being paid late by big business for what has already been earned by small business. That’s incredibly disappointing.”

Mr Billson said the launch of the register comes following research showing average payment terms are sitting at 37 days, despite 30 days being the maximum time “any small business should be waiting for their invoice to be paid”.

“The manufacturing industry has the most work to do in terms of lifting its average standard payment terms of 50 days, while media and telecoms industry is among the best performers, pledging to pay their suppliers within 25 days on average,” he said.

“My office will be keeping an eye on future reports to gauge trends and do what we can to ensure big businesses are living up to the information provided on the register.

“In the meantime, I encourage small businesses to engage with the register and make informed choices about who they do business with.

“Given much of the Australian small business community has been rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic, prompt payment times are critical. Big business has a role to play in the nation’s recovery and that starts with paying their small business suppliers on time. Adopting e-invoicing is a great way to ensure suppliers are paid promptly. Good business pays.”

New register to boost transparency on business turnaround times
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Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan is the deputy head of content at Momentum Media and editor of the company's legal publication, Lawyers Weekly.

Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015 and has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia. In addition, she has produced exclusive multimedia and event content related to the company's respective brands and audiences.

A journalist by training, Emma has spent her career connecting with key industry stakeholders across a variety of platforms, including online, podcast and radio. She graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism).